Sun claims first Australian RFID retail coup

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Sun Microsystems has announced a trial of RFID tagging for retail giant Coles Myer in what it claims is the first trial deployment of the technology in Australian retail.

Sun Microsystems has announced a trial of RFID tagging for retail giant Coles Myer in what it claims is the first trial deployment of the technology in Australian retail.

Sun said it had supplied RFID hardware, software and services based on the evolving standards for the technology to Coles Myer. Coles Myer would use RFID tagging to track the movement of roll-cages from distribution warehouses to stores, the company said.

Jim Hassell, managing director at Sun in Australia, said RFID might "revolutionise" the supply chain.

"By automatically tracking the movement of stock and [other] assets, this technology will enable organisations to increase efficiency [and] reduce cost and complexity not only for the supply chain but all company assets," Hassell said in a statement.

The trial would use J2EE-based Sun SolarWind middleware and SolarView management tools on servers. Further software development was also part of the deal, Sun said.

RFID would "instantaneously and accurately" identify the arrival of roll-cages and could eventually replace "tedious" manual and bar code checks, the company added.

Sun, which has a global RFID research centre program, has already supplied RFID offerings to retail giant Wal-Mart and razor maker Gillette in the US.

"Although it has long been refuted, the retail sector is more than ready for RFID technology. On a global scale, there is currently major interest and funding being poured into RFID," Hassell claimed.

Sun believed RFID tagging would be adopted on a 'radical' scale worldwide over the next 12 months, Hassell added.

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